Once Upon a Con #2

The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston

Publication Date: April 2, 2019

Summary from NetGalley:

princess and the fangirlThe Prince and the Pauper gets a modern makeover in this adorable, witty, and heartwarming young adult novel set in the Geekerella universe by national bestselling author Ashley Poston. 

Imogen Lovelace is an ordinary fangirl on an impossible mission: save her favorite character, Princess Amara, from being killed off from her favorite franchise, Starfield. The problem is, Jessica Stone—the actress who plays Princess Amara—wants nothing more than to leave the intense scrutiny of the fandom behind. If this year’s ExcelsiCon isn’t her last, she’ll consider her career derailed. 

When a case of mistaken identity throws look-a-likes Imogen and Jess together, they quickly become enemies. But when the script for the Starfield sequel leaks, and all signs point to Jess, she and Imogen must trade places to find the person responsible. That’s easier said than done when the girls step into each other’s shoes and discover new romantic possibilities, as well as the other side of intense fandom. As these “princesses” race to find the script-leaker, they must rescue themselves from their own expectations, and redefine what it means to live happily ever after.

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ARC provided by Quirk Books via NetGalley for an honest review. 

Confession:

Geekerella was one of my favorite reads of 2017, so I jumped at the chance to read this one too.  I am glad to report that this one was just as adorable and as fun to read as Geekerella.  I was also pleased to see most of the characters from the first book making appearances in this one.  

This book is told by both Jessica Stone and Imogene Lovelace.  We meet Jessica in the first book, she is Darian’s co-star, but it was great getting to know her better.  Imogene is the new character and I really liked her.  

Jessica is a hard person to like, but you do like her. She is rather closed off and somewhat angry and anxious all of the time.  When she was with fans she was still acting.  She was only herself when she was with her life long friend Ethan, her PA.  It must be hard being a celebrity these days, with everyone’s instant access to  your life.  Jess doesn’t want to return to the world of Starfield, she doesn’t get why people love and care so much about this show.  She struggles with understanding the fans who both love her and hate her for her role as Princess Amara.  As she is pretending to be Imogen, she starts to see what fandom is all about and begins to get it.  Through her we see the downside of fandom and it isn’t pretty.  She begins to accept herself as well.

Imogene was a great character that I had an easier time relating too.  She always felt like she was in her brother’s shadow.  That she wasn’t important in the big scheme of things.  When she accidentally gets mistaken for Jessica, and she see something of a glimpse of what it would be like to be a star, she feels even smaller and unimportant.  But then she sees some of the uglier aspects of stardom, and begins to see how harmful fans and their comments can be to people.  She becomes a better and stronger person through out this book because of that.

There is romance in this book, but not between Imogene and Jessica.  The romances were both well done, although a little bit on the instant side for Jessica.  Both love interests were good choices, and I did enjoy watching them develop.  Because this is a short book, they maybe didn’t develop as much as I might have liked, and Imogene’s was left a little bit up in the air by the end, but I still enjoyed them.

The Prince and the Pauper retell was well done.  Both characters were able to see both the plusses and minuses of what the other’s life was like.  They both come away from the experiences a better person.  There is some great stuff about the evils of trolling and not letting the bad side of social media ruin your life.  There are positive messages about learning to love yourself before loving others. 

This is only the second book by Ashley Poston that I have read, but I will definitely be picking up some of her other work from now on.  I enjoy her writing style and her characters are complex and relatable.  

If you loved Geekerella like I did, you will adore this one as well. 

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